Ugandan police unit disbanded over abuse
09 December 2011, 18:12
Kampala - Ugandan police on Friday disbanded their
elite Rapid Response Unit over allegations of serious human rights
abuses, a spokesperson said.
Originally set up in 2002 under a
different name to deal with violent crimes, the Rapid Response Unit has
been accused by rights groups of routinely torturing detainees and
carrying out extrajudicial killings.
"Police management has
disbanded the (Rapid Response Unit) because you will note that we have
registered a series of complaints on the human rights record," police
spokesperson Asuman Mugenyi said.
He said there had also been
issues with "professionalism" in the unit as some of the operatives were
untrained civilian informers.
In a report in March, Human Rights
Watch documented scores of cases of alleged torture and at least six
cases of extrajudicial killings and said that the unit's plainclothes
personnel frequently operated "outside the law".
by rights activists that few police operatives have been charged over
accusations of abuse, Mugenyi said "very many" officers from the unit
had been brought to court and that some victims had received
He said that the unit was not being reconstituted
under another name and that its duties would be taken over by the Field
Force Unit and the Criminal Investigation Department.